Daily Archives: October 1, 2008

Clinton, Bush announce team up to aid Ike victims

by Momar Visaya/AJPress

NEW YORK – The 2008 Clinton Global Initiative, the annual summit of business and world leaders and celebrities opened Wednesday, Sept. 23, with a host of pledges and commitments to help the underserved communities in the world.

Former President Bill Clinton said in his opening that the financial crisis roiling markets in the US and around the world underscores the importance of taking a global perspective.

“This crisis is not an excuse to walk away from the world’s challenges but a compelling reason to intensify efforts to meet them around the corner and around the world,” Clinton said as he welcomed the plenary participants..

Now in its fourth year, the initiative draws global leaders from business, government, academia, science and non-governmental organizations, celebrities, current and former heads of states, philanthropists and scholars for three days of discussions about pressing global issues like poverty alleviation, energy, climate change, education and global health.

Lance Armstrong, who also announced his return to cycling at next year’s Tour de France, said his foundation is committing $8 million over the next five years to a global awareness campaign for cancer, including a meeting that would convene in Paris after the tour.

“This disease takes 8 million people around the world every year, 22,000 people a day. This must be a global health priority.  (www.asianjornal.com)

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Ernst & Young holds Inclusiveness Forum

by Rene Villaroman/AJPress

LOS ANGELES  –  Ernst & Young, one of the top four accounting firms in America, held a forum, Leading a New Conversation on Inclusiveness, at its downtown office last Thursday, that addressed the subject of diversity and inclusiveness. The forum was attended by more than 200 accounting and finance professionals.

“You have to work at diversity and work even harder at inclusiveness,” declared Raymond Ybarra of Shimasaki Consulting Group, Inc., one of three speakers. “You can have many employees with lots of different nationalities, different educations, from different parts of the world, but the key thing is whoever that body of knowledge that you are tapping into, you need to break it down, what are you going to contribute? You have got to open the doors fi rst, allow them in, and make them feel like they are a part of this,” Ybarra said.

“I think a lot of companies get caught up with statistics, like, ‘we have a good amount of women, good amount of disabled people.’ What is important is to listen to them and to empower them and to include them in the decision-making process,” said Bridget Trumpet, Director of Internal Audit of Rentech. “If you are in business you have to be inclusive because the world is getting smaller due to globalization.”

Raymond Ealy, vice president of business development of Quantummethod, who had worked with Bank of America for many years, said, “What I learned eventually was that even though there were cultural differences among the many different nationalities, what I found were certain idiosyncrasies, but at the end of the day, the common denominator is, they can’t balance their checkbooks.” He said, “What he learned about the different cultures was that people did business the same way, and they have the same issues; you just have to be comfortable in those different environments.”

“Everyone is the same,” Ealy said. “But for some reasons, people have this vision that one group is better, more affl uent than the others; but when you get down on the ground and talk to people, or someone bounced a check to DWP, everybody reacts the same way.”

“What we have to ask is, are they successful from an inclusiveness point of view?” contends Ybarra. “Are they actually working with people of all types, taking the barriers off, taking their blinders off?”

Are they looking at people on the same basis of what they can bring to the table.” Ybarra said that in all the companies he had worked for — including Boeing and Hewlett-Packard — “they didn’t have any blinders. They were open. It made them smart; made them have a little of the ability to change rapidly.”

The business environment is not going to be stagnant, according to Ybarra. “There are obstacles out there, everywhere. Bringing people in, no matter what they do, which level of comfort they are in. Flip open the doors wide open, your ears open, your eyes open and you listen. You can bring them in; you don’t have to have your boss bring them in. Companies hire you because they think that you can help them make more money,” Ybarra suggested.

Ealy believes that inclusiveness comes more naturally to the minorities. “There is more willingness to embrace inclusiveness because the thought process is that you get to look behind you with great courtesy; that there are more opportunities now that you didn’t know about.”

At Hewlett-Packard, where he was a consultant for 11 years, Ybarra said that everyone was expected to be equals. “It was pretty much a fl at organization. They didn’t have quotas on whom to hire, they just want the best and the brightest; they didn’t care what color you are, or if you are on a wheelchair. The ability to cut through the peripherals is so important today.”

Ernst & Young, one of the top four accounting companies in the US, said in a statement that it “fosters a work environment that is open and inclusive of all, regardless of gender, race, nationality and sexual orientation.” More than 50 per cent of those who attended were members of the International Society of Young Filipino Accountants (ISYFA). The forum was moderated by E & Y recruiters Tina McCoy and Katherine Markgraf.


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Michael Angulo: Inspired to serve

by Momar Visaya/AJPress

The urban region of New York and New Jersey has become the primary settlement of Filipino Americans in the Northeast region through the years. From Queens to Rockland in New York and from Hudson to Bergen in New Jersey, Filipinos abound. According to the Census, there are almost 200,000 Filipinos in this region. Yet, despite the ever-increasing population, there is only a handful of Filipinos appointed or elected in both states.

Michael Angulo, the highest-ranking Filipino American in the state of New Jersey, is one of them. In 2004, he was appointed by then Governor Jim McGreevey to serve as Executive Director of the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HES AA). “It’s getting lonely here. Despite our strong numbers, we are not visible in the state level,” Angulo told the Asian Journal. As the top guy in the agency that administers New Jersey’s student financial aid programs, Angulo makes sure that HES AA deliver over $1.5 billion annually in grants, scholarships and student loans, and administer a total portfolio of over $4.5 billion.He oversees a staff of 200 employees, and is responsible for all governmental, legal, fiscal, operational, marketing, personnel, and strategic decisions for the Authority. HES AA assists over 1 million constituents with informational and financial resources each year.

Born in Cebu, Angulo immigrated to the United States with his family in 1973 when he was around four years old. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Financial Management from the Catholic University, Washington, DC in 1990. In 1994, he received a Juris Doctor from the Rutgers University School of Law.

Shortly after graduation, Angulo served as judicial clerk to the Honorable Frank M. Lario, Jr.of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Camden County. He also practiced law with a 40-lawyer firm in Pennsuaken, New Jersey. He was well on his way to becoming a partner when the opportunity to serve the public came knocking. “I took a pay cut when I accepted the job offer. Back then, I knew that I wanted to pursue public service not because of the money but because I wanted to serve,” he shared.

Angulo served as Assistant Counsel to the Governor of New Jersey from January 2002 through July 2004. His responsibilities with the Office of Chief Counsel included monitoring legal, legislative, regulatory, and policy issues impacting the departments of banking and insurance, personnel, consumer affairs, higher education, labor, and military and veterans’ affairs.

When the executive director of HESAA resigned, then Gov. McGreevey plucked him from the Governor’s Counsel Office and appointed him to head the organization.

“As a close and trusted adviser, I can personally attest to how the students of New Jersey will benefit from his leadership. Michael has had a distinguished law career serving the people of New Jersey and his invaluable experience will help us expand upon the extraordinary steps we have taken to increase access to higher education for New Jersey’s students,” Gov. McGreevey said when he announced Angulo’s appointment.

“I felt humbled and honored at the opportunity to assist New Jersey students pursue their dream of attaining higher education. In this increasingly global and complex world, our highly educated workforce allows New Jersey to not only compete, but flourish, socially and economically,” Angulo recalled saying when he was given the post.

To this date, Angulo has served three New Jersey governors: McGreevey, Richard Codey, and current governor Jon Corzine. “I serve at the pleasure of the governor,” he quipped.

Currently, he is the 2007-08 President of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey, representing the interests of over 500 New Jersey Asian American attorneys. He also serves on the Governor’s Asian Advisory Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Commission, the Higher Education Capital Planning Taskforce, and the Senior Public Institution Operating Taskforce.

He hopes to inspire the younger Filipino Americans to pursue a career in public service.

“Parents encourage their children to be professionals, as doctors, lawyers, engineers or nurses. They don’t want their kids to go into public service or politics, maybe because of the old-school mentality that view politicians as corrupt. We should stop thinking that way,” Angulo said.

He believes that Filipinos are matured and educated enough to take on the challenge of serving the people and the community.

“The positions are there, we are just not pursuing them enough,” he added.

Michael Angulo’s position as the top FilAm guy in the state level in New Jersey continues to become a source of inspiration for the community that is in dire need of more role models in the realm of politics and public service.

(Mr. Angulo is an MBA candidate at the Rutgers School of Business. He lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey with his wife Susan and their two beautiful daughters.)


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